Injury-plagued Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has denied that there is any chance of him retiring this summer, revealing that he is actually hoping to extend his contract with the club.
The 35-year-old centre-half was forced to undergo a fourth operation on his troublesome right knee at the end of last season, prompting speculation that he might be forced to call it a day.
However, when asked during an interview with El Mundo Deportivo if he would consider hanging up his boots, Puyol stated defiantly: "Now is not the time. I will not retire. Right now I feel I want to fulfill my contract and if I can, make it longer.
"I am recovering slowly but progressing very well. This operation is not like the others: the post-operative period is more painful but the recovery is faster.
"My idea is to train on the first day of pre-season, though maybe not with the group at first."
Puyol did admit, though, that he is not yet sure if he will continue to make himself available for selection for Spain.
"I have a good relationship with [Vicente] Del Bosque and will not take a final decision or say anything until I talk to the coach," he explained.
"My goal now is to recover from the knee injury and then next season, we'll see. I always take the best decision for Barcelona."
Puyol, whose current contract runs until June 2016, is a product of the Blaugrana's youth academy and has spent his entire career at Camp Nou.